International Animal Welfare Training Institute

IAWTI Faculty

Photo: Melissa Bain, DVM, MS, DACVB

Melissa Bain, DVM, MS, DACVB

William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital
UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Melissa Bain is the Chief of Service of the Clinical Animal Behavior Service at the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. She received her DVM from the University of Illinois in 1994. She then worked in a small animal exclusive veterinary practice in the Chicago suburbs for 1 ½ years, followed by a mixed animal veterinary practice in rural Wisconsin for 2 ½ years. She became board certified in veterinary behavior by the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists in 2001 after completing a residency at UC Davis. In 2007 Dr. Bain earned a master's degree in advanced clinical research from UC Davis School of Medicine. She is the immediate past-president of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, and president-elect of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. Her responsibilities include student and resident education, clinical case management and research. Her research focus has been in clinical domestic animal behavior problems and human-animal bond issues, including research on dog parks, the effects of different training methods on the behavior of dogs, reasons for relinquishment of companion animals to shelters, and techniques to improve the welfare of cats housed in shelters and veterinary clinics

Photo: Steven L. Berry, DVM, MPVM

Steven L. Berry, DVM, MPVM

Department of Animal Science
UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Steven L. Berry, DVM, MPVM graduated from veterinary school in 1981 and worked in dairy practice in Southern California for several years before being hired as a reproductive management specialist in the Department of Animal Science at UC Davis. He worked as a reproduction specialist until 1992 when his position changed to dairy management and health specialist. In 1995 he began performing collaborative research on digital dermatitis (foot warts), during which he realized that lameness was a major cause of economic loss as well as an animal welfare problem on California dairies. In 1998, he attended the Dairyland Hoof Care Institute workshop on lameness and hoof trimming of dairy cattle. Since 1995, he has concentrated his research and extension programs on lameness in dairy cattle. Dr. Berry has given numerous hoof health and hoof trimming workshops in California and other states to dairy producers, hoof trimmers, researchers, and veterinarians. He is a member of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners Lameness Committee and is also a member of the Hoof Trimmers Association. 

Photo: Larry Cowgill, DVM, PhD, DACVIM

Larry Cowgill, DVM, PhD, DACVIM

UC Veterinary Medical Center—San Diego
UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Larry Cowgill has more than 38 years of experience in veterinary internal medicine, nephrology, and teaching and has trained many of the leading veterinary nephrologists throughout the world. He earned his DVM degree from UC Davis and completed internship and residency training at the University of Pennsylvania. From 1973 to 1976, he completed postgraduate training at the Renal and Electrolyte Section of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in basic renal physiology and nephrology and earned a PhD degree in comparative medical sciences in 1976. He is board certified in Small Animal Internal Medicine and a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Small Animal Internal Medicine). Dr. Cowgill is a professor in the Department of Medicine and Epidemiology of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and has been a member of the clinical faculty since 1976. Concurrently, he is associate dean for the school's Southern California clinical programs and co-director of the University of California Veterinary Medical Center - San Diego. Dr. Cowgill has been involved in the early development and current application of hemodialysis and extracorporeal therapies in companion animals; he is an authority on renal diseases. He oversees the school's Clinical Nephrology programs and the Companion Animal Hemodialysis units in Davis and San Diego. 

Photo: James Cullor, DVM, PhD

James Cullor, DVM, PhD

Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center
UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine

A professor in the Department of Population Health and Reproduction in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. James Cullor directs the Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center, Tulare, and the Dairy Food Safety Laboratory. Dr. Cullor obtained his DVM degree from Kansas State University and entered mixed practice for two years. In 1982 he completed a residency in food animal medicine at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. In 1985, he received his PhD in comparative pathology from UC Davis. Research interests include on-farm food safety and security, animal health and well-being, public health, ecosystem health, pulsed laser and microwave technologies for inactivating microbes, rapid diagnostic assays for animal and zoonotic diseases, food animal vaccines, infectious diseases, mammary gland defenses, and neonatal immunology.

Photo: Lynette Hart, PhD

Lynette Hart, PhD

UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Lynette Hart completed her doctoral studies in animal behavior, and then extended her interests to human-animal interactions and animal welfare. Since 1984 she has taught and spearheaded studies of human-animal interactions at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, focusing on the psychosocial effects of being with animals and the impact of pet loss on people. Beginning in 1989 she also focused on animal welfare and alternatives, collaborating with UC Davis librarian Mary Wood to create improved access to Web-based teaching resources for education and research, and emphasizing information on refinements in animal use. She was the lead author of "Why Dissection? Animal Use in Education" and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science. She contributed essays on mice, dissection, and animal-assisted interventions to the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Animal Rights and Animal Welfare. In addition to basic research on behavior of dogs and cats, Hart, along with graduate students and husband Benjamin Hart, professor emeritus at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, conducts field-based studies of large mammals, including elephant, bison, and antelope. 

Photo: Kate Hurley, DVM, MPVM

Kate Hurley, DVM, MPVM

UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program
UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine

Director of the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program at the School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Kate Hurley is dedicated to improving the quality of life of animals in shelters. She has worked in shelters since 1989 in almost every capacity, including adoption counselor, kennel attendant and California state humane officer. A graduate of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine's DVM and Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine degree programs, Hurley also completed the first shelter medicine residency program, which was developed at UC Davis. Hurley works with shelters of every size and management type in the U.S. to control outbreaks, establish health programs, and consult on facility design to optimize health and comfort. She assisted in developing national vaccination guidelines for shelter animals. Hurley's involvement in an outbreak of viral systemic feline calicivirus helped limit its spread and increase understanding of this emerging infectious disease. Other interests include population health, infectious disease epidemiology, and unusually short dogs. Dr. Hurley was awarded "Shelter Veterinarian of the Year" in 2006 by the American Humane Association.

Photo: John Maas, MS, DVM, ACVN, ACVIM

John Maas, MS, DVM, ACVN, ACVIM

Veterinary Medicine Extension
UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine

Extension Veterinarian John Maas is board certified in both clinical nutrition and internal medicine. Dr. Maas has been involved in food safety research and education at the state and national levels, facilitating field adoption of animal health- and welfare-related research findings and providing technology and information transfer to agricultural producers and other members of the public. His research activities over the past 35 years have focused on trace element and vitamin metabolism in ruminants and investigations into the infectious diseases of cattle, e.g., anaplasmosis, foot rot, epizootic bovine abortion, and others. He has published more than 70 scientific papers in journals and texts on topics such as selenium, copper, iron, and iodine metabolism. He is a member of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association Quality Assurance Advisory Board and vice chair of NCBA's Producer Education Committee. Dr. Maas is a member of the board of directors of the California-Nevada Hereford Association, and he is a cattle producer with ranching interests in Shasta County and Butte County, CA.

Photo: Brenda McCowan, PhD

Brenda McCowan, PhD

UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Brenda McCowan is an associate professional researcher with the Department of Population Health and Reproduction at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine where she joined the faculty in 1999. She received her doctorate in 1994 from Harvard University in biological anthropology, with a focus on the evolution of behavior. She conducted postdoctoral work at the California National Primate Research Center on primate behavior until 1999. Her research aims to apply current understanding of basic principles of animal behavior to animal welfare, management and conservation. Her work includes the use of bioacoustics as a conservation and management tool, effects of anthropogenic noise on wildlife behavior and communication, effects of social behavior on disease transmission in livestock and wildlife, and the use of complexity theory and mathematical modeling as a social management tool for captive exotics, wildlife, laboratory animals and domesticated species. Dr. McCowan is also program director of the Primate Behavioral Management Program at CNPRC where she conducts research on primate welfare. 

Photo: Julie Meadows, DVM

Julie Meadows, DVM

William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital
UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Meadows completed her undergraduate program at UC Davis and graduated from UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 1988 with a focus in small animal medicine. She practiced small animal general medicine in two Central Valley practices for twenty years, owning one for 10 years. In 2008 she joined the faculty as an assistant clinical professor. Her special interests include wellness care, zoonotic diseases, and client-centered practice. 

Photo: Bennie I. Osburn, DVM, PhD

Bennie I. Osburn, DVM, PhD

Dean Emeritus, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine

Bennie Osburn, dean of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine since 1996, has been involved in key discoveries about food animal viruses—including the bluetongue virus—developmental immunology, congenital infections and food safety. He has produced more than 280 peer-reviewed publications, and he has served in leadership positions at the Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center, the Office of Research and Graduate Education, and the California National Primate Research Center. Dean Osburn has been instrumental in increasing the number of DVM students and residents. He has initiated outreach activities to encourage the next generation of veterinarians to consider careers in veterinary public health, food animal practice and academia. He has guided the establishment of centers of excellence in comparative medicine, wildlife health, food safety and more. He also helped launch joint ventures such as the UC Davis Master of Public Health degree program. Dean Osburn served as president of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges from 2003 to 2005. Among his honors are membership in the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dean Osburn continues to broaden public awareness of the profession's contributions to society in animal health and welfare, public health and environmental health.

Photo: Niels C. Pedersen

Niels C. Pedersen, DVM, PhD

Director, Veterinary Genetics Laboratory
Director, Center for Companion Animal Health

Research interests include infectious diseases of dogs and cats in shelter and multi-animal environments; and applied canine and feline genetics.  Dr. Pedersen teaches in order to foster clinical research; application of canine and feline genetics to indigenous dog and cat populations; the canine major histocompatibility complex and its role in immune disease and genetic diversity, host and agent factors and their influence on the manifestation of certain infectious diseases of cats. International authority on retrovirology and immunological disorders in small animals, comparative genetics. Past chair, Department of Medicine at School of Veterinary Medicine, UC Davis

Photo: Jose M. Peralta

Jose M. Peralta D.V.M., M.Sc., Ph.D., Dipl. ACAW

Associate Professor Animal Welfare and Veterinary EthicsCollege of Veterinary Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences

Dr. Jose M. Peralta obtained his veterinary degree at the University of Zaragoza (Spain).  He attended Cornell University where he received a M.Sc. and a Ph.D. in Animal Science.  At the completion of his studies he remained at Cornell for ten more years with the Animal Resources Department.  While at Cornell, he taught courses on animal welfare and ethics at the College of Veterinary Medicine and the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences.  Dr. Peralta arrived at Western University of Health Sciences in 2007 where he is an Associate Professor of Animal Welfare and Veterinary Ethics in the College of Veterinary Medicine.  

Dr. Peralta has contributed to OIE, USDA, CCAC, and EU guidelines for the care and welfare of both research and farm animals and is an international speaker on issues related to animal welfare.  He has been a Consultant with the Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International since 1999, and is an advisor in the Scientific Committee of Humane Farm Animal Care.  Dr. Peralta is a Founding Member and Charter Diplomate of the American College of Animal Welfare.

Photo: James Reynolds, DVM, MPVM

James Reynolds, DVM, MPVM

Dr. James Reynolds received his DVM and Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine degrees from UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 1982. He was in private dairy and beef practice for 14 years in California. He completed a residency program in epidemiology with the California Department of Health Services before taking a position with the University of California, School of Veterinary Medicine, where he is currently Chief of Service for On-Farm Medicine in Tulare, California. He has been involved with the development of, and has provided, farm animal welfare assessments and audits. Dr. Reynolds is the past chair of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners Animal Welfare Committee and is chair of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Animal Welfare Committee. Dr. Reynolds lectures on calf management and consults on International bovine projects. He received the 2007 Animal Welfare Award from the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Photo: Carolyn Stull, BS, MS, PhD

Carolyn Stull, BS, MS, PhD

Veterinary Medicine Extension
UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Carolyn Stull earned her Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry from Purdue University and continued her studies at the University of Illinois. She received her MS and PhD degrees while researching muscle and exercise physiology in the horse. As a Cooperative Extension specialist, Dr. Stull directs the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine's Animal Welfare Program, focusing on the well-being of agricultural animals, primarily dairy cattle and horses. She has served as the chair of the Animal Welfare Committee of the US Animal Health Association and worked in collaboration with the US Department of Agriculture on issues such as the Horse Protection Act and the Commercial Transport of Equines to Slaughter. Dr. Stull was the North American representative to the ad hoc group on Land Transportation for the World Organization for Animal Health. Her research projects have been focused on examining long-term transportation stress in horses, developing nutritional rehabilitation programs for starved animals, determining the glycemic index of common equine feeds, evaluating the impact of extreme weather events on the welfare of dairy cattle on commercial dairies, the care and handling of cull dairy cattle, and the characterization of unwanted horses relinquished to non-profit rescue and shelter facilities throughout the US. She is the national recipient of the "Hank Award," presented for outstanding research benefiting the welfare of the horse.

Photo W. David Wilson, BVMS, MS

W. David Wilson, BVMS, MS

William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital
UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine

W. David Wilson, BVMS, MS, is the director of the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Wilson manages the 100 faculty veterinarians and more than 400 staff members who care for more than 30,000 large and small animal patients each year. He also oversees the clinical teaching programs, including the 48-week series of hospital rotations for 130 fourth-year veterinary students and 100 residents of the country's largest specialty residency program. Dr. Wilson, a professor in the Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, served as the associate director of the hospital's Large Animal Clinic for seven years. His research interests focus on antimicrobial treatment of infection, formulation of appropriate vaccination programs for foals, the influence of pregnancy on vaccine responses, equine infectious diseases and preventive medicine. He teaches courses on pulmonary medicine, general equine medicine and infectious diseases. 

Photo: Anita Varga, DVM, MS, DACVIM

Anita Varga, DVM, MS, DACVIM

Dr. Varga obtained her veterinary degree at the University of Veterinary Medicine  Hanover, Germany. After graduation she did an Internship and Residency in Food Animal Medicine and Surgery at the Ohio State University where she also obtained a Masters of Science degree. Dr. Varga is a Diplomate of the Americal College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (LA).

Dr. Varga has worked in the UK, Canada and the USA as food animal veterinarian in academia and private praxis. This experience has given her a broad understanding of different management and production systems of a variety of farm animal species. In the last three years, Dr. Varga has organized the Low Stress Cattle Handling and Beef Improvement seminar that was attended by many ranchers and veterinarians.  The aim of the seminar is to improve standard operating procedures,  increase cattle wellbeing and to update ranchers on the most recent research regarding animal health and welfare.

Currently Dr. Varga is in the process of opening her own large animal practice; Gold Coast Veterinary Service and Consulting, where she will be working directly with producers, emphasizing and helping increasing the of animal well being on the farm and ranch level.  Concurrently she is holding a research analyst position at UCD.